WORKERS FIGHT AGAINST BIG TECH

‘They track our every move’: why the cards were stacked against a union at Amazon

Michael Walker

The Conversation | April 23, 2021

“Working at an Amazon warehouse is no easy thing. The shifts are long. The pace is super-fast. You are constantly being watched and monitored. They seem to think you are just another machine.”

So testified Jennifer Bates before a US Senate Budget Committee hearing into income and wealth inequality on March 17. Less than a month later her co-workers at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Bessemer, Alabama, voted 1,798 to 738 against allowing the Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union into their workplace to represent them.Read More »

COVID VACCINE 

Ahead of crucial WTO meet, rights groups urge patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines

Peoples Dispatch | April 22, 2021

Demand for patent waiver WTO meet
(Photo: NICEF/Jake Verzosa)

Several human rights groups, including Doctors Without Border (Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF), ­­­­­­­­made an urgent appeal to the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the eve of its scheduled virtual meeting on Thursday, April 22, to waive off the patent rights on COVID-19 vaccine production.

More than 100 countries, led by India and South Africa, have demanded the temporary waiver of some clauses of the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on the production of vaccines and other related medical equipment in order to increase their production and facilitate their wider and more equitable reach.Read More »

COVID-19 PANDEMIC 

India’s staggering COVID crisis could have been avoided. But the government dropped its guard too soon

Pradeep Taneja & Azad Singh Bali

The Conversation | April 23, 2021

India reported 314,000 new cases of COVID-19 on April 22, the highest-ever infection tally recorded by any country on a single day.

Many hospitals across the country are unable to cope with the unprecedented demand for life-saving necessities. Family members are scrambling to buy oxygen cylinders and medication for their loved ones in hospitals, often paying exorbitant prices in the black market.Read More »

RESERACH ON COVID

One million coronavirus sequences: popular genome site hits mega milestone

Nature | April 23, 2021

A lab assistant works on positive COVID tests for sequencing at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Positive COVID tests are prepared for sequencing to study variants at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty

More than 1.2 million coronavirus genome sequences from 172 countries and territories have now been shared on a popular online data platform, which is a testament to the hard work of researchers around the world during the pandemic.

Sequence data have been crucial to scientists studying the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the epidemiology of COVID-19 outbreaks and the movement of viral variants across the planet.Read More »